Synopses & Reviews
IF YOU'RE TIRED OF REJECTION, THIS IS THE BOOK FOR YOU.
Whether you are a novice writer or a veteran who has already had your work published, rejection is often a frustrating reality. Literary agents and editors receive and reject hundreds of manuscripts each month. While it's the job of these publishing professionals to be discriminating, it's the job of the writer to produce a manuscript that immediately stands out among the vast competition. And those outstanding qualities, says New York literary agent Noah Lukeman, have to be apparent from the first five pages.
The First Five Pages reveals the necessary elements of good writing, whether it be fiction, nonfiction, journalism, or poetry, and points out errors to be avoided, such as
* A weak opening hook
* Overuse of adjectives and adverbs
* Flat or forced metaphors or similes
* Melodramatic, commonplace or confusing dialogue
* Undeveloped characterizations and lifeless settings
* Uneven pacing and lack of progression
With exercises at the end of each chapter, this invaluable reference will allow novelists, journalists, poets and screenwriters alike to improve their technique as they learn to eliminate even the most subtle mistakes that are cause for rejection. The First Five Pages will help writers at every stage take their art to a higher -- and more successful -- level.
Richard Marek Editorial Director of Kirkus Reviews and former book publisher Intelligent and entertaining instruction...it should be read by all novice writers -- and by those books are already published but who intend to write more.
"The ultimate guide to staying out of the rejection pile...worth its weight in gold, and should be read by all experienced and unpublished authors."
-- Inscriptions Magazine
"Novice and amateur writers alike will benefit from literary agent Lukeman's lucid advice in this handy, inexpensive little book. Writers' groups and workshops will want multiple copies."
-- Library Journal, "Highly Recommended"
"If every novelist and short story writer in this country had Lukeman as an editor, we'd have a lot more readable prose out there...The First Five Pages
should be on every writer's shelf."
-- Barnes and Noble Writers Workshop
"The difference between The First Five Pages
and most books on writing is that the others are written by teachers and writers. This one comes from a literary agent -- one whose clients include Pulitzer Prize nominees, New York Times
bestselling authors, Pushcart Prize recipients, and American Book Award winners...Lukeman has plenty of solid advice worth listening to."
"Pragmatic, intelligent, and readable, The First Five Pages
...will certainly help writers of any kind defeat rejection and possibly score."
"Lukeman grinds his teeth over amateurish writing, too, and offers practical corrections."
-- Detroit Free Press
Using examples from actual manuscripts and query letters he's received, a publishing professional illuminates principles that can be applied to virtually any type of writing--fiction, nonfiction, journalism, and even poetry.
About the Author
Noah Lukeman is a literary agent based in New York City whose clients include Pulitzer Prize nominees, New York Times bestselling authors, Pushcart Prize recipients and American Book Award winners. Prior to becoming an agent, he worked on the editorial side of several major publishing companies. He has been a guest speaker on the subjects of writing and publishing at forums conducted by numerous organizations, including the Writer's Voice, the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Wallace Stegner writing program at Stanford University.
Table of Contents
PART I: PRELIMINARY PROBLEMS
Chapter 1: Presentation
Chapter 2: Adjectives and Adverbs
Chapter 3: Sound
Chapter 4: Comparison
Chapter 5: Style
PART II: DIALOGUE
Chapter 6: Between the Lines
Chapter 7: Commonplace
Chapter 8: Informative
Chapter 9: Melodramatic
Chapter 10: Hard to Follow
PART III: THE BIGGER PICTURE
Chapter 11: Showing Versus Telling
Chapter 12: Viewpoint and Narration
Chapter 13: Characterization
Chapter 14: Hooks
Chapter 15: Subtlety
Chapter 16: Tone
Chapter 17: Focus
Chapter 18: Setting
Chapter 19: Pacing and Progression